Caring for vulnerable children living in the slums and villages of India

'Eat2Learn' Nutrition Project

GPM "Eat2Learn" Nutrition Project

Nutrition for schoolchildren is the most effective way to make a positive improvement in the lives of vulnerable children living in the slums of Mumbai.  

That's why GPM provides 1000 daily, hot, nutritious meals to children in school. It keeps children learning by ensuring that their tummies are full.   

As Former US President Bill Clinton says:

"120 million children never go to school. But we know that every year of schooling adds 10 to 15 per cent a year to the incomes of people in poor countries for life. And we also know how to get those kids to school: offer nutritious meals to children in school but only if they come to school to get it."

This concept is at the core of the GPM "Eat to Learn" nutrition program


Mumbai is home to over seven million children under the age of 14 who are growing up in abject poverty. The World Health Organization estimates that about 49 per cent of the world's underweight children and 34 per cent of the world's malnourished children live in India. Education is the key to reducing these figures. However, in Mumbai, because food is scarce and the primary focus is on day-to-day survival, there is tremendous pressure on children – even as young as four years old – to work. Slum children work as rag pickers, sewage cleaners and other unhealthy and dangerous jobs, earning a few cents a month in order to stave off their families’ hunger. Education and literacy are put off as parents struggle to balance the immediate needs for family survival of the family over the need of a child to grow, develop, and study in order to build a different life.   

The GPM solution to this problem is simple but powerful: eat to learn. GPM provides hot, nutritious meals to children attending school. The children, studying in classes run by the award-winning organization REAP, now have tremendous incentives to go to school. Not only do they receive the education that they need to end the cycle of poverty, but they also receive warm, wholesome meals that keep their minds and bodies healthy and strong. The GPM solution of providing meals for children in school addresses both short-term and long-term needs of the children. The immediate need of hunger relief is achieved, malnutrition is abated, and a sound education is established to help promote a better life for children of the slums.

Moreover, nutrition has a tremendous impact on every aspect of child development, including cognitive development. Proper nutrition is essential to learning, thinking, and cognitive perception. Young children’s development is particularly sensitive to the effects of an inadequate diet. Research shows links between nutrition and brain development, cognitive function, curiosity, behavior, and communication and social skills. By providing daily nutrition, GPM is providing children with basic tools for good health, cognition and development.

The impact of this program is significant: Teachers reported a 50% increase in attendance rates due to the GPM program.
According to the US National Library of Medicine-National Institutes of Health, chronic malnutrition in ages 3-5 (in India) is linked to slower cognitive development and serious health impairments later in life that reduce children’s quality of life, as well as long-term malnutrition and stunting. (see full report here)

To contribute to "Eat2Learn" nutrition program, click here